Talkin’ "Girltrash" With Rose Rollins, Mandy Musgrave
Laurie K. Schenden
Was it me or did celebrities outnumber members at Power Up’s 9th annual Power Premiere?
The only movie studio dedicated to putting LGBT people and projects to work celebrated its ninth year at Social Hollywood earlier this month. I’m distracted by the swanky digs that once housed the legendary Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Boulevard. A solid B history student, I was admiring the woodwork and wondering if it was original when I spot Rose Rollins leaning over the sturdy wood bar, surveying the beverage selection. She doesn’t physically resemble her L Word character Tasha for some reason, but I recognize the “look,” when she doesn’t see her beverage of choice. So, is there life after The L Word? She admits that the ring-tones haven’t exactly been blaring since the show wrapped. I ask if playing a lesbian hurt her career. “No. No, because I feel like I’m so completely opposite from that character that anyone who meets me in person, I don’t feel that I’ve been pigeonholed in any way.”
In person she seems taller, leaner, and more feminine. Tasha always looked like a muscle-packed warrior able kick ass when necessary. Must have been the uniform. Not that Rose couldn’t handle herself, she just doesn’t give off that vibe. However, she steps into some sharp heels again in a revival of Monique for a film version of Girltrash!, the quirky queer Web series created by Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.), that starts shooting in December.
“That is a fun, fun, fun character,” she says. “She’s just bad-ass, everyone’s afraid of her. Don’t mess with her." As for her L Word run, she says, “It was definitely the best experience that I’ve had acting-wise, so far.”
Wandering room to room, it turns out the place is full of “Girltrashers,” including Power Up cofounder Stacy Codikow, executive producing; writer Robinson, who got her Hollywood debut as a Power UP grantee; and the lovely Mandy Musgrave, who played Misty on the web series and earned teen icon status on South of Nowhere. She’s reprising her role in Girltrash and has already recorded a song for the film with BFF and cast mate Gabrielle Christian.
“Gabrielle and I sang the song by Lisa Rieffel—Killola, I guess that’s her stage name for her music …” Her words are barely vapor when Lisa sneaks up with the force of the Santa Ana winds, throws an arm around Mandy and says, “I love Killola,” and laughs hysterically.
“There she is!” says Mandy, happily surprised. “How are you? Oh my God. Yeah, they’re her songs.”
“Yes, indeed,” Lisa chimes in, “my band Killola did all the music and the actors will be singing our song and it’s a great honor for us.”
Lisa also plays Daisy Robson, the tough-as-nail-polish lead character in Girltrash.“I love Daisy,” Lisa says, breathlessly. “Daisy is way cooler than I could ever be.”
I doubt that; did I say that out loud?
“No, you have no idea. It’s funny because … you’re in a band, you’re all cool. For me it’s like reruns of Jon & Kate, and huh, making like Brussels sprouts, that’s my deal,” she laughs a hearty Brussels-sprouts sort of laugh.
I suspect that Lisa could carry a reality show herself. She’s especially excited because she just saw Linda Perry (with girlfriend Clementine Ford) in the next room.
“I’m also a producer on the project. We’ve already been location scouting and done all that crazy stuff and I’m just having the time of my life. We’ve been lucky enough to secure the same cast … we all got really attached really quickly.” She pauses long enough for me to ask if she’ll perform this night. “We’re so honored to be opening the show tonight.”
Killola plays, she’s killer. I say let Lola live. I ask about her song that Mandy recorded for Girltrash “She is fantastic,” Lisa gushes. “The whole time she kept saying, ‘I can’t sing, I can’t sing. Then we go to rehearse the cords and she blew us all away. We were laughing our asses off. Why would she say she can’t sing?”
From the looks of the Girltrash cast and crew assembled here, it’s going to be one wild-and-wicked-bad set.